Monday 3 September 2012

1234 Shoreditch - 1 September 2012

La Femme

What better way to shake off the cobwebs of a largely gig-free Olympic summer than a day out at the 1234 Shoreditch. I come here each year and it rarely disappoints.

For me, the day begins with Drop Out Venus doing ‘I Kill Foxes’ on the main stage. It is an exhilarating, uncompromising start. They’re brilliant, as ever.

I then dash across the field to catch the second half of La Femme, a six piece attack of driving synths. They are very French and clad in matching white T-shirts. Vive le no difference!

The Pukes are a vast ukulele orchestra of mature ladies blasting out punk classics. This ought to be twee, but is just joyous. There are at least seventeen of them bouncing and running about. I bawl along with ‘GLC (You’re Full Of Shit)’ and have a great time.

JEFF The Brotherhood are uber-macho American rockers, who produce a fine old racket and are clearly used to playing to large festival crowds. Their swagger contrasts with Los Cripis, who are a rather fiddly and introspective outfit from Argentina. These last are ok, but do get special Wyldman points for including an unexpected cover of Devo’s ‘Blockhead’.

The most divisive band of the day are The Pre New. It’s impossible to tell whether they are an elaborate joke or something brilliantly strange.  A solidly built guy dressed as though he’s come straight from the bar of his local golf club half talks and screams alongside a younger guy in combat fatigues and Pierrot make-up. Behind them a band blasts out crunching dance beats using everything from drumkits to Macbooks. There is much abuse of equipment, with microphones and ice cream thrown at each other. It’s chaos, but good entertainment. Pierrot appears to have a drumkit set up purely so that he can lurch over and punch it occasionally. The audience is split between those who think this is all a hoot and others who grump off to watch something else.

The most hyped band here seem to be Zoetrope, who have drawn much attention to themselves by being young, female and all over the free newspaper that you are given containing today’s stage times.  Unfortunately, they just don’t seem very interesting. They play to a packed tent, but I soon get bored with them and bail out.

Antlered Man are a much better proposition. I could listen to them do ‘Platoono Of Uno’ all day. They’re part prog, part hardcore, all business and go down a storm.

I run my eye over Black Moth (phenomenally heavy, but perhaps not overburdened with tunes) and The Neat (impressive power pop and very jolly).

I try to avoid Deap Vally on the main stage as I am due to see them headline their own gig next week, but from what I catch, these two girls are going to make a big splash with their piled high hair and blues rock clatter.

I then head off to see Public Service Broadcasting after a passer by begs me for details of their set times. And they turn out to be a bit of a revelation. 

It’s a simple premise. Two guys use samples from vintage movies and documentary footage and marry these to Krauty dance rhythms. It might be rather self-limiting, but for half an hour they are mesmerising, with a whole tent nodding along to Blitz-set epics ‘Britain Can Take It’ and ‘Spitfire’. PSB are one of the finds of the day.

I skirt round Buzzcocks on the main stage – they are fun but too familiar – and finish off the day with Mark Stewart, who is playing with the Trio VD. This set turns out to be the most deafening and uncompromisingly harsh noise of the day.

As ever with Stewart, vocals are treated and distorted and the music is an assault on the senses. It’s a greatest hits set, if anything that he does could ever be so categorised. It’s bizarre to hear versions of ‘How Much Longer Will We Tolerate Mass Murder’, ‘Feed The Hungry’, ‘Liberty City’ and ‘Stranger Than Love’ – this last dedicated to Max Bygraves with all sincerity.

They finish with a stonking, howling version of ‘Hysteria’. It’s a rousing end to a really enjoyable day out.

I’m back on the gig scene, baby!

No comments: